Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police union reacted Friday to a published report that the boyfriend of a senior adviser to the mayor is a convicted killer and interstate drug trafficker whose also ran over a New Jersey police officer while driving her car last year.
Chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray, Rachel Noerdlinger, has been in a relationship with Hassaun McFarlan since 2010 and the two have lived together for nearly two years, DNAInfo.com reported Thursday.
The 36-year-old McFarlan has been arrested at least five times, and was convicted in the fatal 1993 shooting of a teenager over a down jacket, the site said.
Two of the arrests occurred after McFarlan began dating Noerdlinger, a former aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton, according to the site.
McFarlan also allegedly referred to police officers as "pigs" on his Facebook account.
Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said Noerdlinger should never have been hired to work in the de Blasio administration.
"New York City police officers are not allowed to associate with known criminals," he said. "If we are, we get disciplined, and we should."
Lynch added, "The hateful language he uses on websites toward police officers, what kind of guidance is this staff member giving the mayor and the first lady?"
On Friday, the mayor defended Noerdlinger, saying she was in no danger of losing her job and that it would be "ludicrous" to fire someone over statements made by their boyfriend.
"I have absolute faith in her," De Blasio said. "I know what I value and she values the same thing. We need a close relationship between police and communities."
City Hall spokeswoman Rebecca Katz said in a statement earlier, "No one at City Hall condones criminal behavior or disparagement of the NYPD, including Rachel. Rachel is her own person. She is a strong, independent woman who possesses a core set of values and beliefs that align with this administration. She is not going anywhere."
Noerdlinger's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said her work was in no way affected by her relationship with McFarlan.
"She doesn't share all of the opinions of Hassaun McFarlan and anyone who has ever had any contact with her knows Rachel to be an incredibly hard-working, kind, respectful professional." Lichtman said. "She stands on her own and always has."
Before working for the mayor's office, Noerdlinger worked with Sharpton's National Action Network for more than a decade.
Michael Hardy of the NAN said he fully supports Noerdlinger and McFarlan's relationship.
"He seems like a great guy, and more than that, what are we if we're not a nation of second chances and redemption?" he said.
Follow Danielle Elias on Twitter @danielle4ny